Contemporary portrait styles have become more relaxed and less for- mal in the past decade. What is gained is a level of spontaneity and natural- ness that. Nikon D2Xs and 24–70mm lens. 7. an in-depth examination of how to connect with them and draw Portrait Phot The Art of Bridal Portrait Photography. The Art of Posing: Techniques for Digital Portrait Photographers (Pro. Pages· · Children's Portrait Photography Handbook. Pages··
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2nd EditionChildren's Portrait PHOTOGRAPHY HANDBOOK Techniques for Digital PhotographersBill HurterAmherst Media Size Report. DOWNLOAD PDF. You may store the pdf on your computer and backups. You may print one copy The Adventure Photography Handbook is your indispensable go to resource for. Download the Book:Jeff Smith'S Senior Portrait Photography Handbook: A Guide For Professional Digital Photographers PDF For Free, Preface: With deta.
For instance, using film balanced for daylight but shot with incandescent light will produce an image with an orange color balance, because the light is more red than what the film is balanced for. Tungsten-balanced film shot under daylight will produce images that are of a colder blue tone, because the film is balanced for a more red-rich spectrum and cannot match the color temperature of daylight.
For more on this topic, see "The Film—Light Connection" on page The most successful photographs have always been lit as if from a single source. Because we live on Earth and have only one sun, we have been conditioned by the eons to be comfortable with one source of light as the basis of how we see. It's only reasonable that the most effective portraiture is that which represents only one "source" or "direction" of light. This doesn't mean that you cannot have lights that the nature of light 11 originate from other directions in your photographs although you must place them with care , it only means that the most pleasing images are made when the main light appears to come from only one direction.
More than any other aesthetic reason, this is why portraits with multiple nose shadows are dismissed as amateur. The quality of the light is a determining factor in the appearance of the subject's form. The quality of light is determined by its source. In simple terms, a small light source will throw a concentrated beam that will produce deep, sharp shadows on the subject. A larger source will throw a wider beam of light with shadows that are more open less dark because more light spills into them.
The effective size of a light is contingent both on the physical size of the light and its position in relation to the subject.
As a light source is moved away from the subject, it becomes smaller in relation to the subject and thus will create sharper shadows. The sun, for example, is a huge light source, but it is so far away that its direct light creates very sharp shadows. Because it determines the character of the shadows, the quality of the light is a determining factor in the appearance of the subject's form.
As the light hits the subject, it creates three basic form-revealing zones. The specular highlight is the brightest portion of any image, because it is created when the light from the source is reflected directly into the lens. Specular highlights are most commonly seen as catchlights in the eyes of the subject, although closer inspection may find them on foreheads, cheeks, and chins, and especially on the tips of noses.
The position of these highlight areas is determined by the angle of incidence. As light spreads out from the specular highlight toward the shadows, it reveals color and form. This is the major and most revealing portion of any photograph, and we call this area the diffused highlight. The light in this area does not reflect directly into the camera; the effect of the light on it is more diffused. Finally, the light begins to fall off into shadow, a portion of the image appropriately termed the transition area.
When this area is narrow i. When the transition area is wide i. Contrast is the difference in exposure between the brightest and darkest parts of a scene and, in many ways, is directly related to form. Think again of our sun and sky. On a clear day the sun shines on us without obstruction, the shadows it throws are deep, sharp, and clean, while the highlights are bright and perhaps hard to look at.
Objects photographed under this light will exhibit significant contrast, or difference between the highlights and the shadows. Sometimes this contrast is so great it is impossible to expose the film to properly render both shadows and highlights.
On a slightly overcast day when the sun's light is diffused through scattered clouds, the highlights are still distinct but not as hard to see, and the shadows are softer and somewhat less distinct. This kind of light is perfect for revealing form and texture, as the overall contrast has been reduced. A person photographed in this light, even at high noon, may be rendered without the terrible shadows that a sunny day is known for. If you want to work outside, this is the kind of day you need image 5.
Now imagine a more overcast day—one on which the sky is not thick or stormy, but just filled with an even blanket of white clouds, thick enough to almost hide the distinct circle of the sun. When this occurs, the sky functions like a huge soft box, producing low contrast but light that is very even in exposure. With huge shadow transfer areas, this light will wrap itself around most subjects and will expose them almost evenly from any side. Because it is so formless and lacking in contrast, textures will be rendered softly, without great detail.
Although these examples reference the sun, the same principles apply in the studio, where your lights, in effect, emulate the sun. Small light sources or ones placed far from the subject produce strong highlights and deep shadows while broad, diffused sources or ones placed closer to the subject produce soft highlights and open shadows. Your source light your "sun" , and how you choose to modify it, will determine the strength of the highlights and shadows in your portraits.
Image 5 13 2. The light that is aimed at your subject, and the light upon which you base your primary light meter reading, is called the key light or the main light. In photographer's jargon, this light is appropriately called the key light, because it is the key to the entire lighting scenario.
It This light is stands to reason that a light moved in an arc of equal distance around a subject will push the same amount of light onto that subject, for the distance from the light to the subject is the same throughout the arc image 6.
This is a sim- called the key light, ple truth, but knowing it allows you to move lights easily since you can shoot without re-metering as you tweak and perfect each scenario. Image 6: The arc of equal distance. This is the light that creates the shadow pattern that shapes the subject's face. Fill Light. Any light that is used to open up lighten shadowed areas anywhere in the image is called a fill light. A fill light does not cast a visible shadow of its own in a portrait, since it is set to produce less light than the light it is filling.
Kicker Lights. Lights that outline the subject against and separate the subject from the background, are generally called kickers, as they visually "kick" the subject out from the background. This helps you to avoid areas of tonal merger where the subject and background cannot be easily distinguished from one another. Depending on where they are aimed, these lights may also be called hair lights or side lights.
Background Lights. Lights aimed at the background that do not fall on the subject are called background lights.
The vast majority of portraits are created with a mix of lights and light modifiers. It is impossible to demonstrate or perhaps even list all of them in this book.
However, if you examine each of the following examples, you can either set them up and use them "as is," or employ them as a basis for creating your own unique lighting scenarios. Terrific portraiture does not demand the most expensive A Image 7: Small flash with umbrella. For this book, we will investigate lighting scenarios that work with electronic flash strobe equipment. Strobes are the most versatile, longest-lived, and of course the most expensive of all the options you may explore, but they are also the most consistent, delivering constant power and color.
When using strobes, focus and lighting changes are made by viewing the subject as lit by modeling lamps. Usually watts or less, these lamps produce sufficient illumination to judge lighting positions and changes, as well as to focus. Most importantly, your subjects will not be blinded or overheated when surrounded by the lights you place.
When the actual strobe fires its very bright but short burst, your subjects will usually react less to it than they would to a camera-mounted flash aimed directly at their eyes. This is especially helpful if you're planning on shooting dozens of pictures of a single subject. Sometimes you can get by with a rig that allows your on-camera flash to be mounted to a light stand.
Portrait Photographer's Handbook
Depending on the arrangement, you may then add an umbrella or small soft box image 7. Multiple units may be "slaved" together so that they all fire at once. While this is relatively inexpensive, it is a quick fix only.
Since professional lighting equipment 15 there are no modeling lights on most such flash units, you can't see to judge the effects of your light placement. Additionally, the output power of these units is limited.
Children's Portrait Photography Handbook
As a rule of thumb, the more compact your on-camera flash unit is, the less power it can deliver to your subject. Still, such equipment can be useful on location, and should not be totally discounted. Sometimes placing a small, slaved unit correctly can provide a little bit of light where you need it, but where it would be almost impossible to get light from a larger source. A few high-end manufacturers I'm most familiar with Canon have made on-camera equipment that can be stand-mounted and slaved together.
More importantly, the units can be separately ratioed to individually control light output, and feature a modeling light of sorts—a small strobe that fires rapidly and repeatedly and allows you to see what your light is doing. A Word of Caution. All strobes rely on a device called a capacitor, a battery of sorts that takes a small amount of voltage as little as 3 volts , and compounds it as it is stored, so that the flash fires with much greater strength than it could ever get if simply powered from a couple of household batteries.
Stick your fingers near a charged capacitor, even in a small unit, and you'll risk a surprise that could really ruin your day. Larger devices, called monoblocs sometimes called mono16 A Image 8: Monobloc. While on-camera units usually allow power changes in full-stop increments, monoblocs feature variators a more sophisticated resistor that change the output level of the tube. Monoblocs are complete units and are mounted as such onto light stands or other supports.
Because they are self-contained they pack up and transport easily and require only a power cord and shutter release cord. If you are fascinated by urban exploration and looking to learn the ropes, this can be a valuable resource. So, grab your camera and start exploring your city for abandoned spaces! Street Photography for the Purist by Chris Weeks Street photographer Chris Weeks shares with you why street photography is easy and difficult at the same time.
Filled with lots of fantastic images and insights on the craft, this eBook will give you a lot to think about and offer you plenty of ways to improve your street photography. If you like cycling and photography, you are going to love this one. Introduction to External Flash Photography This is a very concise guide on external flash photography.
The book is barely 9 pages long and it gets straight to the point. It has dedicated sections on explaining the use of flash outdoors and how to achieve great results, all in an easy to understand language. How to Take Stunning Food Photos If you like food photography, this eBook will prove to be a valuable resource for you.
From lighting considerations to composition suggestions, a lot has been covered in this book to get you started. According to the book, there are essentially two things that make a stunning food photo — appropriate exposure and a thoughtful composition. For more tips, download the eBook!
Keep this in hand and give this a read whenever you feel uninspired, or want something to read while on the bus or subway. Lighting , by Strobist The ever popular online lessons on lighting in photography, Lighting , can be downloaded as a single file for a handy reference.
It will teach you everything about lighting — lighting equipment, artificial lighting, balancing it with natural light, lighting patterns and many more tricks. Lastly, my wife Kate, son Makhesh, and daughter Metika, who let me disappear into the night to complete this book. Love and kisses. In Memory This book is dedicated to the loving memory of John Siegrist, my second father, and Sri Chinmoy, spiritual teacher and prophet of peace.
The following are some common setups. This is shadowing the other side. This setup is common in low-end accents the cheekbones, chin, and shape of the nose. Rembrandt Lighting Modi- fied. To soften the effect I used a Profoto three-foot Octagon soft- box for the main light. For more dimen- sion, I also added a strobe on the backdrop.
In ad- dition to these everyday modifiers, there are some ad- vanced tools that each create a specific quality of light—a quality you may find desirable and one that may even shape your style of portraiture. The follow- ing are some that have become my favorites. Thanks to Profoto for letting me try these out! Octagonal Softbox The three-foot octagonal softbox is a nice alternative to the regular rectangular softbox.
The octagonal shape wraps the light more evenly around the face, creating a softer light and less contrast when using Octagonal Softbox Rembrandt lighting. The final photograph of Brenda on page 9 was taken with an octagonal softbox.
The TeleZoom is an oversized reflector that, in com- bination with the grid, produces softer lighting than a regular reflector and grid. You can also control the spread of light by sliding the reflector away from the flash, resulting in a narrower beam. This modifier is great for use as a hair light or back light, as shown in the image of Michael and Gay at the top of the facing page.
Here, I was photographing a couple, which can make posing difficult if you are not prepared. I like to create tight, simple compositions by bringing my subjects as close to each other as comfortably possible.
In this case, I placed a pos- ing stool behind a padded piano bench set at a degree angle to the camera. With Michael sitting on the stool, Gay sat on the bench and leaned back to be cradled by Michael.
I find this technique also loosens up the subjects and results in a more playful photo session. A silver reflector was also placed on the left side of the subjects to bounce light back onto the shadow sides of the faces. The Globe The Profoto Globe light produces a very soft but modeled quality of light. To clean up the shadows under the chin and nose, I used a piece of white frosted Plexiglas as a table.
The shape and placement of the catchlight the reflection of the main light will tell you where and what type of light the pho- tographer used. In the inset shown with the portrait of Julie to the right, you can see a round reflection just above the pupil. This tells you the primary light source main light was round like a globe light and that the light was placed to the right of the subject and about two feet above her head.
In the setup shot at the top of this page, you can also see that I am working in a small space. Notice that the placement of the light is simi- lar to that used in the Rembrandt lighting setup see page 9. Here, the triangle highlight is rounder because of the shape, size, and dif- fusion of the globe. The Beauty Dish The beauty dish is a large, flattened reflector 36 inches in diameter , with a deflector in front of the flash tube to redirect the light into the dish.
Placed close to the camera, this virtu- ally eliminates shadows on the face. The qual- ity of light this renders is cleaner than a softbox or globe, resulting in a commercial look. Like the globe light, the beauty dish creates a round catchlight. In the image to the left, you see the result of this setup: Notice how Julie extended her forehead, drew her chin in and down, then looked up with her eyes. Notice the highlight in the pupil is more centered. This tells you that the light is closer to the camera.
The Ring Light a. The quality of the light was so unique, though, it was quickly adapted for use in portrait and fashion photography. When hand-holding your camera with the ring light, The ring flash in action, Photo by Pam Voth. Any camera movement toward or away from the subject will also change the distance from the light to the subject, al- tering the exposure.
The ring flash can also mount to a tripod, but in my experience this restricts your movement. The catchlight created by the ring light seen in the eye inset image in the portrait of Julie to the right is similar to that seen when using on-camera flash. The big difference is that the reflection is round and dead center in the pupil. Note, too, the dilation of the pupil. Like light from a beauty dish, light from a ring light is shadowless. However, it is also much harder. Since the pupils are dilated, the eyes also appear much darker.
Ultimately, the ring light is a great choice for edgier portraits and fashion since the quality of light creates a specific style. However, you must be aware that the ring light produces a powerful burst of light.
If your subject is sitting in a dimly lit studio staring straight at the light, this can create eye discomfort. Be sure to warn your subject when you are ready to shoot, and give them a count. Because it is so close to the lens the ring light will also create red-eye; fortunately, this can easily be fixed by most digital imaging programs. Rather than letting my ego ment, I would like to end this introduction with a get in the way, I decided to listen to my client and try story about how I learned that keeping it simple is it again—but this time outside.
He agreed and I came sometimes the best place to start—and that listening back the following month John had grown a beard to your subject can save you time. This time, I came with just my flash I had been working with John R.
Howard Fine Art, and 35mm digital camera. I scouted the outside prop- photographing their art and architecture, and was erty and saw that the sun would be moving behind a asked to take a portrait of John for his web site. As I grove of pine trees in about an hour, which would was mulling over how I wanted to take the portrait, I make for a good backdrop. It was a simple setup, using started thinking of Arnold Newman and his icono- the backlight for separation and a fill flash to illuminate clastic portraits of great artist in their studio.
I scouted my subject. He felt ideas and forget the needs of our clients. The portrait on the left, created using a complex studio lighting setup, was my first idea. The image on the right suited him better. It was shot using only on-camera flash and backlighting from the sun.
With a little often less than cooperative. It is either in the finesse, the pop-up flash is sometimes better than no wrong part of the sky or hiding behind thick clouds. Both prosumer and professional cameras use flash effectively. Used correctly and creatively, this allow you to dial up or down the pop-up flash output. You can, of course, also increase or decrease the cam- era exposure. I posure settings, you can find a combination at which say desperate, because this is the least controlled light the flash balances appealingly with the ambient light.
This means that set my pop-up flash at —1. The flash is now the program mode and let it decide the the output of the flash will be one stop one stop less than the camera exposure. The result looks fine, but brighter than the camera exposure. The re- To my eye, this looks more natural.
In the first shot facing page, left , we see the result of shooting with no flash—just sunlight. Un- fortunately, the bright areas of the backlit subject distract the viewer from her face.
In the second image facing page, center , the flash was set one stop brighter than the cam- era exposure, resulting in an artifi- cial look. Diffusing the Pop-Up.
Diffusing your pop-up For example, consider the pair of images above. For the second image, I placed the plastic dome from an early version of the Gary Fong Lumisphere over my pop-up flash.
The frosted plastic dispersed the flash, softening the light on my subject. Although the effect is subtle, the second image is more flattering and less washed out.
To achieve the same softening effect, you can also go to an art-supply or craft store and download some frosted vellum and Velcro.
Cut the frosted vellum to cover the pop-up flash and use the Velcro to attach the vellum to your camera. For another cool effect, you can even place colored gels or vellum in front of your pop- up flash. Auxiliary Flash Pop-up flash definitely has its limitations. To create ar- resting images with artificial light you need to have more control over your light source than is possible Shooting with the dome from a Gary Fong Lumisphere.
The cameras. The first step in using a uni- chase an auxiliary flash for your camera. If you were using Teaching lighting workshops has taught me that ISO film or an ISO setting of on your digital cam- students are often totally mystified, even intimidated, era, you would set the ISO on your flash to By by the use of auxiliary flash. As a result, the flash either matching the camera and flash ISO, you are telling the stays in the closet or is pulled out as a last resort.
When photographing wed- cover.
In the days before electronic flash, this was dings and events, knowing how to creatively use your where guide numbers the power of the flash divided flash is absolutely essential, but I have even used my by the distance from the camera to the subject be- dedicated flash on commercial shoots as an auxiliary came important. Fortunately, with the advancement light.
Guide numbers do, how- camera flashes. So when shop- Before I unravel the mysteries of the auxiliary flash, ping for your ideal flash, note the guide number; a though, I would like to discuss why one would want bigger value means a more powerful flash. The obvious reason is Today, most universal flashes have some type of to illuminate an area that would otherwise be too dark automatic system that calculates the correct exposure.
For instance, the Vivitar uses a color-coded sys- However, you should also consider using a flash when tem to automate the correct exposure. Determine the distance from the flash to the is dedicated to your camera—meaning that the flash subject.
On the Vivitar , Look for the color that to achieve a good exposure. A non-dedicated or universal camera flash, such as 4. The dial will also indicate the maximum of cameras.
However, these units need to be set up distance the flash will cover. The advantage of this type of flash is that it can be used The distance you need to cover your depth of field will with any camera model, unlike a dedicated flash that determine the color you set your flash on—a little eas- only works with cameras from the same manufacturer ier than figuring out the guide number! This is important to know, because if you set your shutter speed faster than the recommended sync speed, the flash will only illuminate part of your frame.
Dragging the Shutter. Although you are limited to how fast you can set your shutter to sync with the flash, you are not limited to how slow you can set your shutter speed. Using a shutter speed that is slower than the recommended sync speed is called dragging the shutter.
This is a useful technique in situations where you want to combine ambient light with flash. For example, imagine that you are photographing It is essential to know how to work your flash outdoors, especially a 20xfoot room that is illuminated by some win- if you plan to shoot weddings.
The ceremony had just ended dow light. Now, in walks the basketball team you around 3PM on a bright, sunny day. This created very deep shad- 15 ows that are not ideal for wedding portraits.
The key was to turn have been hired to photograph. You know your flash my subjects away from the sun so they were backlit or, in this can only illuminate up to 20 feet with an aperture at case, closer to side lit. This will be fine for properly exposing the team, faces. With my focus on auto, the only thing left for look like the team is standing in a cave; the flash will me to do was to engage with my subjects and shoot until I got the right expressions.
Wow—that was easy! The solution? Earlier, I mentioned ficiently that it matches the flash output. The result how the flash can be used to lighten shadows and re- will be a more natural-looking environment.
Just re- duce contrast in a portrait. Freezing Action. In , Harold Edgerton took the on- camera flash one step further with his invention of the stroboscope. His intention was to take high- speed photographs of familiar sub- jects, such as a splattering drop- let of milk—things that move at One reason to use flash is for its ability to freeze action.
Because you are redirecting the light and it Direct or Bounce Flash. On-camera flashes can must travel farther to illuminate your subject, how- create two types of light: This is the harshest type of lighting—and Indoors, you can angle your flash up and bounce if the light is too close to the lens, red-eye will appear the light off the ceiling. Just make sure the ceiling is ei- in your portrait.
Direct flash does, however, take full ther white or gray; otherwise a color cast will reflect advantage of the power of the flash, maximizing the onto your subject.
I find fifteen-foot ceilings to be of light that falls on your subject. Bounce or indirect flash is produced when the When working outdoors, more advanced flash flash is angled in such a way that the light bounces off models have a built-in bounce card that you can pull a surface before hitting the subject.
This is an easy and out when needed. You Taking the Flash Off the Camera. One easy way can even place a white index card on top of your flash to control the quality of the light from your flash is to to create a surface that will redirect the flash. This can be done Special Effects with Flash. This allows you you must work in a totally dark room with your cam- to move the flash away from the lens axis, either hold- era set on bulb.
Then, with the shutter open, you can ing it in your hand or attaching it to your camera via pop your flash multiple times and record the stages of a bracket an arm-like device that supports the flash at a single motion. Advanced flashes have a multiflash a distance above or to the side of the camera. These transmitters have effects. Just remember that some gels absorb light; to a range of 30 to 40 feet indoors and 20 to 30 feet out- compensate, you may have to increase your exposure.
They can also trigger an unlimited number of If you have a light meter, you can take measurements Canon flashes, offering many creative possibilities.
When this happens, the flash nate your subject and the entire environment. To do reflects off the retina and back into the camera lens. Then, set the flash to illuminate your subject and the walls at a spe- cific distance and a specific f-stop. Trigger the shutter to begin the ex- posure and start popping the flash to illuminate the subject and then the walls. When you have covered the entire area with flash pops, release the shutter to end the exposure.
While the shutter remains open, multiple flash pops create a stroboscopic effect. The decision should be based on your usage. Look for a flash with a good guide number feet or more. Manufacturers often combine the range of the flash with the focal lengths of a lens.
Look for a flash that is dedicated to your camera and has TTL through the lens capability. This allows the flash and camera to talk to each other to determine the right exposure. This allows you to synchronize two or more flashes. If you are downloading the flash for personal rather than professional use, however, you can consider a less expensive flash with fewer functions.
The Canon Speedlight EX is a very compact flash for Canon cameras that has the TTL function but not a bounce I had Melika rest her head on a lacquered table in the dining room, then placed a tungsten conversion gel over my flash along with a head.
I set my white balance to tungsten light to match the bounce head and can be used on different makes of color temperature of the flash. The reason for all this hoopla was to get a blue background and a blue reflection on the table and cameras. I then attached my flash to a The key to mastering flash is practice, practice, and flash cord so I could extend it over my head and direct it toward my subject.
This way, I avoided a flash reflection in the window be- more practice. It may seem like a burden to carry an hind her and achieved a more sculpted quality of light. LCD screen and use it to hone your skills. So dust off Although many flashes are available your choices are your flash and start creating. Canon EX on hot shoe with a flash diffuser. Flash set on normal. Assignment called me back to let me know they wanted to hire me This photograph was taken during the preparation for for their wedding.
I like to photograph weddings in a pho- The day of the wedding, my assistant and second tojournalistic style, so I begin my wedding-day cover- shooter arrived at the site around 1PM to scout the age by being present to document all the preparations location and begin shooting the wedding preparations.
Here, the bride, Shelby, was en- ment it as needed with flash. Here, I knew there was tering the cabin to greet her family. I set my camera on shutter- would make a nice framing element for my subject. This added to dreamy Posing Technique quality of the image. No direction was used in this photo since I was trying to capture a real moment. I simply watched and waited sunlight creating blown-out background for the right moment.
When Shelby lifted her train with her left arm I knew that was the shot. The pose reminded me of the goddesses depicted on the sides of ancient Greek vases.
You never know when you may find your next client. Profoto ws pack with softbox for main light; silver reflector disc for fill Assignment shot, however, we went outside and found it was pour- This portrait was used on the cover of a trade maga- ing rain.
Knowing that my client needed an outdoor zine called State Ways. The designer, from New York shot, we headed up the hills looking for a vantage City, had searched the web for a photographer in point with the state capital in the background.
There, Montana and saw my work on my web site. I had I noticed a home under construction. The one ledge on the outdoor porch that faced the capital. At demand was that the portrait be taken outside. To compress all the elements, I selected a Visual Objective telephoto lens which meant I had to shoot through a My subject, Shauna Helfert, was the Administrator of window while standing in their deconstructed living the Montana Liquor Control Division, so the state room—the photo gods were definitely looking over capitol with the mountains in the background was a me that day!
Tips Posing When balancing strobe and daylight I always bracket Shauna is a state administrator and I wanted her to ap- my shutter speeds to vary the background exposure. Because she was sitting on a narrow ledge, the challenge was having her keep her sunlight back straight, relax her left hand on top of her right, sit in a three-quarter view to the camera, and keep breathing.
You would be surprised how some people hold their breath while they are being photographed. The Story main light balanced silver reflector When my assistant and I drove to Helena early in the with sunlight disc for fill morning it was sunny, so I decided to photograph the inside shots first—thinking that later afternoon light would work well for the cover.
Profoto ws with medium rectangular softbox and Pocket Wizards to fire the strobe Assignment wanted—no easy task. Like all animals, food is a great This was an assignment for the magazine Inspire Your incentive for hens, though. So I set up the shot, stood World. Unfortunately the publication only lasted five behind my camera, and directed Sandra while my as- issues and this was the last issue. I was hired to pho- sistant threw feed on the ground.
It took many tries, tograph the artist, author, and art therapist, Sandra but we finally got the shot. Magsamen at her home just outside of Baltimore.
This is part of dra. When we arrived at her home, I scouted around her personality, and I feel it is important to identify for a location that would suit my subject.
She had a the unique physical qualities of your subject and allow great art studio where she worked, but I wanted to es- them to become part of the portrait. Similarly, choos- tablish the opening shot for the article. I had seen this ing the wardrobe of your subject is also very impor- great chair that she created, and the porch outside her tant. I selected the red shirt for Sandra because I knew studio made for a great backdrop. Posing I knew she would feel comfortable in her chair, so the sunlight pose would fit the chair.
My only concern was work- ing with her hands. Because she was an artist, I wanted her hands to show off well, so I simply told her to hug the back of the chair with her hands. The Story Meeting Sandra was truly a rich experience. She is as medium softbox big as the hearts she creates. When she told me she had hens on her farm I asked if we could use them for the shoot.
Profoto ws strobe with Profoto 3-foot octagonal softbox Assignment planned out four different images for the article while The portrait of the author Deirdre McNamer was I was there. As a bonus, Deirdre also gave me an ad- taken for the magazine Distinctly Montana.
Deirdre vance copy of her novel to read. It was early spring and was coming out with her fourth novel and the maga- I wanted to wait until there was more foliage on the zine was writing a profile on her. As a result, the ses- about Montana and the fictional people who live sion went very well and pretty quickly. I wanted to visually incorporate that geographic essence of her books, so I felt it was important to have Tips mountains as a backdrop.
Fortunately, Deirdre dressed in designer black. The It was touch and go with the heavy clouds, but the lime green coffee cup was for a splash of color. If you plan for the worst-case scenario, you will always be prepared to Posing come away with a successful portrait. After scouting the location, I found a comfortable patio chair and a table. I had originally placed a laptop on the table and was going to have her pretend she sunlight was working on her next book, but it looked awkward.
I prompted her to breathe octagonal deeply a couple times and gaze into the lens. This gave me an opportunity to learn a little about her and see where she lived. Hasselblad c LENS: I shot about three rolls and called it a This was a publicity photograph for a play, Rose Selavy rap.
It longer—and I had the shot. I also brought extra promoted the play for the Philadelphia Fringe festival.
Rose Selavy was a s portrait taken by Man Ray in collaboration with Marcel Duchamp; likewise, Tips this image was a collaborative effort. In addition, you should know how to Before the shoot, Whit gave me a general idea of what lock up your camera mirror to avoid vibration—and the play was about.
If you do, shoot using have the Philadelphia skyline in the background and a the self-timer so you are not touching the camera dur- night shot was essential to create the drama. I wanted Mary look vul- city lights in background nerable, so I used a fetal position.
The Story When working with a theater group, you can expect medium plenty of volunteers to help transport equipment. For softbox for main light this shoot, we picked the warmest night in March around 40 degrees , and shot on the University Av- enue Bridge over the Schuylkill river in downtown camera on tripod Philadelphia. Luz power pack no longer available with medium Chimera softbox Assignment Like virtually all of the fathers I approached to be pho- This image of sculptor Rudolf Serra and his son Owen tographed with their sons, he said yes.
When shooting environmental portraits remain con- scious of the place where you are working. I always think of sculp- in the creative process. It builds trust and helps them tors as big kids who still like to play in the mud and feel more comfortable in front of the camera. That create wonderfully unique objects. My objective was said, you must still remember that you are the direc- to create a spirited, playful image of a father and son. Posing This was an easy one.
I asked if Rudolf could get on the floor, on the same level as his son, and give the boy some squeezes.
I also liked his tennis shoes so I had him put his feet out so I could see the soles of his shoes. This look was exaggerated by the selection of a degree grid on artwork wide-angle lens. The Story Anytime I photograph artists, I find the session fun and creative; they understand the process and are will- medium softbox ing to try just about anything.
It is a real collabora- for main light tion. This image was taken at the beginning of my Fathers and Sons project, when I was trying to find at least five artists and their sons to photograph. Norman B portable strobe bounced into an 8-inch white umbrella Assignment happened. Peter Davis, documentary and a camera case, the ticket taker just took my ticket.
Since we shot before the game Visual Objective started everyone left us alone. Here, the long curve cre- ated by the stadium wall and the baselines converging Tips toward home plate draw your eye to the family. To Whenever you shoot in a public location it is a good make the subjects stand out from the crowd I lit them idea to get permission. There is always the fear of a li- with a portable strobe light.
On that note, it is also important to have good Posing commercial photography insurance that will cover you I wanted to show the sense of place, so I had them in case of an accident or potential lawsuit. Also, be turn away from the field and lean toward the camera.
I had Peter and Nicholas hold programs to give them something to do with their hands and build on the sense of place. He and his sons agreed to a session on their before bringing the family to the boat.
At that point, boat in the New Jersey shore. I knew I had only about twenty minutes of good back- ground light. Because of my preparation, though, this Visual Objective was more than enough time.
The Howes liked the Gordie and all but one of his sons were professional short session and seemed to have fun. The real treat hockey players, but I wanted to capture them away was when they asked my assistant and I to have dinner from the ice.
I wanted a clean background with just a with them. They were cooking up the fish they had suggestion of the environment—the fishing rod. Posing Tips Group portraits always pose logistical challenges. Since Extension cords were key to this successful shoot.
The fishing chair foot extension cord from the boat to the outlet on the presented the perfect way to accomplish this. Once I dock. Today I still travel with extension cords, giving placed Gordie in the chair I arranged his sons. Marty me an option if my portable pack dies provided there held the top of the chair, Mark placed his left hand on is an outlet nearby. I had Gordie rest his hands on his lap, anchoring the group. When they medium softbox mentioned that they had caught some fish early that morning, a light bulb went off: I realized I had to pho- tograph them on the boat at dusk.
Fortu- meet your heroes. He was friends York City and I was free that day. By the time I got with jazz musician Dave Brubeck and suggested I con- there with my assistant, Jo Caress, it was dark and the tact him for the book.
It was very festive and the Brubecks were gracious hosts. Visual Objective Capturing the family dynamics is always one of my vi- Tips sual objectives; each son has their own identity and re- When photographing a large group you need a large lationship to their father.
In truth, though, the portrait light modifier. Because four of the sons wore glasses, is as much about me as it is about the Brubecks.
To capture the ambiance of a large room, try drag- ging the shutter, as I did here. Once you focus, turn Posing off the modeling light to avoid recording subject When I arrived at their home, I noticed that Dave and movement, unless that is the effect you want. That started me thinking about a keyboard—black keys surrounded by white keys.
This concept, although not obvious, was the driving force of my placement of the family. It also helped that Dave was wearing a white belt. I also used the steps behind the family to stagger their heights. Then, I had them bend their knees to create a more casual look. The final touch was hand placement—and the key was having Dave crossing his large softbox arms. They had come to New York City to visit job much easier.
You should also have in mind some me and see my studio—and whenever family comes to strategies to engage the baby—unusual sounds not visit, I make sure to make time to photograph them. Then, be patient Note: If you decide to pursue portrait photography, and ready to catch the fleeting moment when it oc- photographing your family is a great place to start.
In this instance it was Lisa tickling her feet that When photographing a mother and daughter, you made the moment.Also, depending on how the baby was born i. In order to minimize the number of cords traversing the set—a danger not only to small children but harried photographers—many photographers opt for the wireless triggering of all their studio lights. They are paying your bills, more challenging for children, who are more vulner- but if you neglect your needs you will regret it later.
The image was never used for their CD, but a music magazine ended up using it for their cover. If you are downloading the flash for personal rather than professional use, however, you can consider a less expensive flash with fewer functions.
Some of these systems also allow you to use the flash off the camera with a TTL remote cord. RIGHT—With undiffused light, there are distinct lines of demarcation between the shadows and highlights. These part one: the principles of portrait lighting are the most powerful of all, capable of delivering a huge surge of power through the strobe tube.
This was one of those mo- for main light ments that you realize the power of lighting and how it can transform the ordinary into the extraordinary. Assignment called me back to let me know they wanted to hire me This photograph was taken during the preparation for for their wedding.
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